The world lost a great lady yesterday; smart, courageous, determined, self-less and primarily a Survivor. She had a profound effect on my late wife Lynn and my lives. She was a significant hero to my wife Lynn. Her strength and focus on defeating the horrendous disease that eventually claimed her too-short life provided structure to our battle with Lynn’s Renal Cell Carcinoma.
When she was diagnosed in 2004, we had just returned to the USA from Germany. Our life in Germany is chronicled in our soon to be released book: Views from Sandhausen. We watched with empathy as she took up her sword to battle cancer. I am not sure whether she had pain with her disease; it looked as she was able to fight her fight with little yellow pills, little impact oh day to day life, and, very important to women, no hair loss.
For a few days we were also empathetic with John, until we discovered, with the rest of the world, his illicit life and ultimate betrayal of all those around him – and the extended electorate. I wondered at the time, “is it necessary for a partner, whose sole mate has been given a death sentence, to seek comfort from another?” I was to come to find out that it is not necessary, and is truly reprehensible as it appears on first blush.
We heard little of Elizabeth as John was properly vilified by all. We imagined a brave lady, who lost her son, and lost her husband, trying to not lose her life, fighting on in silence. She championed health care reform and focused on her causes, much as I have focused on our book, and Lynn focused on trying to be relieved from her debilitating pain. In October of 2009, Elizabeth made a video about life and death. Please see this link. Elizabeth Edwards On Life, Love And Loss (VIDEO)
Elizabeth found the strength to write two Best-Sellers, Saving Graces and Resilience. Lynn found similar solace as she wrote her all too few words in our first book: Lynn’s Story. For those of you who still wish to read or purchase, it is still available on CaringBridge.org. I make nothing on this book and I see that its price has been recently lowered.
As Lynn’s life dwindled away, we often spoke of Elizabeth Edwards, and her solo fight against cancer. We knew that she had an older daughter that was dedicated to her Mother’s support, as Elizabeth was dedicated to bringing joy and a sense of hope to their younger children. Just as I spared the hideous details of Lynn’s suffering from our, and her, family – Elizabeth focused on providing happy memories for her children. What a brave lady! Lynn was greatly comforted that she was not fighting cancer alone, as Elizabeth was. Support from your children and family is fine; support from your soul mate is invaluable and irreplaceable.
Perhaps Lynn will run across Elizabeth in Heaven! I would love to listen in on their conversation!